Okay, my story ended with a screeching halt.
Long version. Here we go:
I didn't want to tell this story until after recruitment was over. Especially with what happened with Round two and after….staying relatively anonymous is the name of the game.
An incident before even the "Go Greek" events began:
I was at an non-school related event with a friend about a week before recruitment started and I complimented a woman on her young daughter's gorgeous dress, and asked where she had purchased it.
She named a shop that was unfamiliar to me, and I said "You know, it looks just like a Lily Pulitzer print." She lit up and said "Oh, we LOVE Lily!" then I mentioned that a friend of mine in a sorority in SoCal had found the most adorable print for her Sorority that did not have a chapter on my campus on the website and was buying up what she could. Then she commented that her Sorority had a print, but it wasn't released until after she became an Alumna.
I mentioned, that reminds me....Recruitment is coming; I'm looking forward to it. She said "Oh, at XYZ ?"
She asked "Have you considered what sororities you're interested in." I said "Well, I'm considering all of them. They all sound so nice, but I really liked what I read about YZX and ZYX’s philanthropy."
"You know, I was a founding member of ZYX's chapter at XYZ.”
That was unexpected. I hope that I made a good impression.....bwah!
Recruitment officially began in the middle of the week: But.....three straight days of "Pre-Recruitment" events and a Mandatory Orientation for the NPC Recruitment kicked everything off. Then we had a day off, and NPC Recruitment BEGAN!
1st Pre-Recruitment Event: Go-Greek Party
I had no idea what to expect. Dozens and Dozens of Women and Men in matching shirts ran up the several flights of stairs to the ballrooms where the event was held. Even more PNM's followed them, up and up. We entered a ballroom filled with tables, where
GLO's were busy setting up displays and trifold display boards. It reminded me of the County Science Fair, where everyone is pleased with their hard work and eager to share it with the World. I felt somewhat like a fish out of water, as I'd come to the event alone and there were upteen groups of PNM's in twos and threes and more. There was an inflatable boxing ring where two guys were having fun duking it out with inflatable boxing gloves; and a tall bounce house with a slide. Also a DJ who was busy at his job and at least 50 boxes of pizza.
I was one of the first to arrive, and the longer I remained, the more full the room became. When I say "full", I was having to excuse myself right and left because moving about the mass of people was extremely difficult.
I visited all of the NPC Sororities tables and both of the MGC Sorority tables that were present.
First was Blackberry. The ladies manning the table were very nice, and obviously enjoyed explaining why they enjoyed being sisters in their Sorority. I spent several minutes chatting with them, and felt that I could see myself as a Blackberry from what I experienced tonight.
Second down the row was Loganberry. I chatted with a sister for what seemed like forever and I enjoyed our conversation immensely. I was especially touched by the passion that all of the sisters present showed for their philanthropy. Their philanthropy has a special place in my heart for various reasons. I also appreciated hearing about their goals for the entire active membership of their sorority, which included the fact that by XYZ year, they hope to have ALL graduating sisters graduate with honors or some form of academic recognition. Putting school first! Definitely a great attitude to have. I could definitely see myself as a Loganberry.
I cannot remember a thing about Apple. I remember meeting a few of the sisters at their table, and I remember chatting with them.....but for the life of me....I cannot remember what we chatted about except their Philanthropy.
I approached Peach's table, and waited while the sisters talked to some PNM's. Those PNM's went away, and the sisters began talking with other PNM's, and then others, and others. I waited for about five minutes, then began looking at their display board
. Not until I asked one of the sisters a question did I actually have the opportunity to speak to them. She seemed a bit distracted during our few exchanges, and I felt quite a bit more comfortable but, I did feel out of place, excused myself gracefully and took my leave.
I hoped that perhaps there might be other sisters in their chapter that I'd feel more comfortable with during Recruitment. We'll have to see.
Cherry's table obviously had a lot of love and heartfelt thought put into it, it looked very homey and cozy and.....well, just adorably homey. I chatted with a few of the sisters and enjoyed our conversations, although they did not flow as easily as those between the sisters at Loganberry and myself, and those of Blackberry and myself. I'm still very interested in this house.
So, If could have ranked them after tonight:
Second Pre-Recruitment Event:
There was a half hour long presentation by the Sororities of Greek Life as a whole, followed by free time to visit the tables set up by both Multicultural and NPC Sororities.
Several additional Multicultural Sororities were present this afternoon that weren’t there last night, so I was able to communicate with those.
I also was able to give the tables of the NPC sororities the twice-over and speak to their representatives (most of whom were not the same persons from last night) and gain more of a feel for what each organization had to offer without being surrounded by over 500 people or having to yell to be heard over the noise.
The sisters of Apple were nice, but I really felt no connection. At all. Onward to recruitment! Perhaps what happens then will give me much more to go on.
I didn’t hit it off as well with Loganberry as I did last night, and the sisters present were a bit more reserved than the wonderful sister I met during Go-Greek Fest, they were still very welcoming. I’m still interested in learning more about their house, and I could still see myself as a Loganberry.
The ladies of Blackberry were as sweet and as welcoming as they were last night and the story that one of the sisters told me about how her sisters really rallied around her when something unexpected and life changing happened to her, epitomized what I imagined Sisterhood to truly mean. Blackberry’s stock just went sky high!
Peach went a bit better than last night, and the sisters were very nice, although reserved…I had the impression that this was just their temperament, though and by no means a judgment on myself or anything. It’s strange: Peach is the Sorority that I had those positive pre-conceived notions of and on paper, they are a fabulous org….but in person, it hasn’t panned out that way. I could see myself as a Peach…..but I’d like to see what happens during recruitment.
I chatted with two sisters from Cherry, who were fabulous, well informed and passionate about Cherry and their lifelong sisterhood with those in their chapter and all over the planet. I felt extremely welcome…..and said those words in my head “I feel like this might be the ONE!” It isn’t even recruitment yet….and I have this huge rush crush on Cherry!
So, if I had to rank my preferences after today:
I could see myself in ALL of the Sororities…..except Apple. I am not feeling Apple. Sorry.
There is the final Pre-Recruitment Event tomorrow afternoon, and I really look forward to it.
Pre-Recruitment Event #3 (Last one!)
This was the last Pre-Recruitment Event before orientation. Over a bowl of ice cream, a sister pulled me aside and we chatted about many subjects, and what had led me to my interest in Sororities in general. She was nice.
There was no tabling at this event, so it was just a “Go Greek!” kind of thing, and another place to ask general questions.
Just thinking off the top of my head as an estimate there were probably 300 PNM’s present at Orientation since each Rho Gamma group had about ten to twelve PNM’s. The Rho Gam’s did these adorable and informative skits on WHAT NOT TO DO or WHAT THE HOUSES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO during Recruitment. Our two Rho Gamma’s are really sweet, and they seem to know their stuff.
Now, we have a day off, and then recruitment officially begins on Wednesday!
Our recruitment went like this:
Day 1: House Tours
Day 2: House Tours (after tonight…..pick 4 groups….)
Day 3: Philanthropy Night
Day 4: Skit Night (Can only choose three groups to return to)
Day 5: Preference (Can only choose two houses to return to)
Day 6: Bid Day!
However…..I felt an extreme connection to one of the Multicultural Sororities on campus, and over the course of the Pre-Recruitment events and up until now, the girls there have consistently remembered my name, and have always gone out of their way to chat with me, even when we randomly meet up in the halls or on stairs.
I received an invite yesterday to their recruitment events, which take place after NPC Recruitment is over…..and while a huge part of me wants to go through with NPC Formal Recruitment, and I will…..a growing part of me feels that home might be the Multicultural Sorority…..I’ll call it “Blueberry”.
Some hard decisions to be made, I know.
First Day of House Tours!
(Formal Recruitment is FINALLY HERE!)
I just wanted to say how fantastic our Rho Gamma's were and I have really bonded with our RG group. Everything was run so smoothly and how the NPC groups were able to run such a fab recruitment, amazes the heck out of me. Three cheers for them!
I also wanted to say.....I was praying that at least ONE of the houses housed a piano......I love to play and having a piano to play on as a sister at any house that I'd be invited to join, would be a privilege.
Anyway, today we visited three houses: Peach, Blackberry and Cherry. Tomorrow we visit Loganberry and Apple.
Peach was our first house to visit. After we lined up alphabetically to enter the house, the door opened after a few moments, and we began to file in. No door song, and our parties were about thirty minutes long....so lots of time to chat with the ladies in each house.
I was really looking forward to visiting Peach, after what happened over the weekend. I was not disappointed, and after being hooked by a wonderful girl, as we all were, we went upstairs
and she and I chattered as we went through the bedrooms and the study room and dining room. Now, I have to say something about Peach. They are the "crafty house". I am a crafty person.....sewing and scrapbooking and doing the crafty, artsy thing......every girl I met and chatted with was so adorably sweet and I really enjoyed myself at Peach. What a turnaround from the weekend! Their stock has returned to what it was before for me, and I definitely would love to be a Peach.
I liked the sister that I chatted with, although it was hard at times to hear her. No worries, though.
Next house was Blackberry. The sister that hooked me and I could not. stop. talking. We talked so much, and with so many other sisters at various times so much, that I don't know if I received a full house tour or not. We laughed, and laughed and talked and talked. Several of the sisters mentioned that they sensed that I'd be open to leadership positions. I LOVED THIS HOUSE! I'll say it again......I LOVED THE SISTERS, AND THIS HOUSE! As we walked down the stairs, what do I see? A gorgeous grand piano! I hope to be invited back for Philanthropy Night because I felt AT HOME at Blackberry. And not just because of the piano either!
Final house was Cherry. The ladies here were somewhat subdued, but very friendly. I think that they were kind of “She’s actually interested in US? Wow!” which was fine, but I did reassure the girls that I REALLY liked their sorority. The sister who hooked me turned out to be in the same major as I was, and even in one of the same classes, and we shared many interests. I love this group, but wish that they had shown SO much more confidence in themselves tonight, because they really are terrific. I enjoyed this house and the wonderful ladies who comprise it, but didn’t feel COMPLETELY AT HOME there as I did with Blackberry or immediately feel like it was a fun, bubbly house environment like I did with Peach. I attribute this to first night jitters. They’re nervous, I’m nervous.
So, preferences of the houses tonight are:
Tomorrow night: Apple and Loganberry!
One thing that I have done through the entire pre-recruitment process is: to be memorable in a positive way. Attend all of the pre-recruitment events (check), ask questions (check, check), introduce myself to everyone I meet, and to always be the kind woman who opens doors for strangers who need it, has a pen to lend if someone needs it, and is always polite, genuine and grateful for every new experience and every new day, as I always have been. I’ve kept my look very consistent through all of the days of pre-recruitment and now into recruitment: Always in a pink shade of blouse or some element of pink in my ensembles, hair in the same style, with a pair of sunglasses perched on my hair, as a headband of sorts. I guess it has worked, because at both Peach and Blackberry, several members said that they’d met me several times in the past several days and it was so nice to meet me again.
Today, we visited Apple and Loganberry.
First was Loganberry. The sister who hooked me and I talked excitedly for a long, long while. (See.....this seems like a pattern is forming.) We toured the house, met other wonderful ladies and talked all about Loganberry. I was bumped to a different sister, and with her conversation was a bit stilted at first…..but we found common ground with us both being dancers, and by the end of the house tour, we were talking excitedly all about dance and trying to be heard over the din…..I have practice reading lips, so I was able to understand her fairly well. With their stated commitment to academics, and both their National and Local Philanthropies....but most importantly, how comfortable I felt around the other Loganberry ladies and in their home.....I'd have to say that my initial impressions of Loganberry have been confirmed, and I hope to return there tomorrow evening and talk to more of their fabulous sisterhood.
Apple has finally come alive for me! Great girls, and a great sisterhood is apparent between them.....however....while the chit chat between us was so heartfelt.....I felt like something was missing. I don't know what it was, but Apple didn't feel like HOME to me.
I thought about it this way.....if I could picture myself opening the door of the house, and saying to myself "Sweet Home XYZ", then that was a house that I'd adore to return to. If I couldn't.....then....
At the end of the night, we had to choose the house that we'd least like to return to. I chose Apple.
So, my list has (in no order)
We shall see which houses that I'll be invited back to. I hope that all of them will be there. :-)
And if they aren’t….I have the point of view that it may be a bit easier to have to consider between fewer houses before finding my forever home.
- A bit of a break -
Today, on the morning of Day 3 (aka: Round 2: Philanthropy Night) I woke up around 6:45am, and realized how tense and tired I’d become. I couldn’t fall asleep last night and I feel jittery and exhausted right now. I do have an 11am class and a lab in the afternoon, before Recruitment….so taking mucho time for myself today is not going to happen. There ARE a few massage chairs in the Student Center, so I’ll go to one of them before class and let it work on me for about 15 minutes while I read one of my favorite books. Tomorrow is definitely going to be one of those: I sleep all day, kind of days. First week of school has been completely exhausting, on top of Recruitment. Yet, it’s all been terrific at the same time.
Day 3 of Recruitment: Round 2, Philanthropy.
Big surprise for me was waiting: I was invited back to one house, and one house only…..
Which was good, when taken into consideration of how much I’d liked them from the get-go.
One of my Rho Gam’s took me aside and asked if I was okay with only having one house to return to, and I said that it meant a lot more to me to invite me to a house where I felt at home already and focusing on whether they were THAT fantastic fit to sign on for life, than having to try to decide this same thing between multiple houses. I did admit that I was a bit disappointed (what PNM wouldn’t be?), as all of the other girls in my Rho Gam group had at least two houses to return to and almost all had three or the maximum four. However, that was them and this is ME.
So, my visit to Cherry was during the last possible time tonight…..much later than any of our previous parties have been. Between the time we were to report earlier in the afternoon, and the time we had to walk over for the party, I spent lots of time with the ladies that make up our Rho Gamma group. I was the only one who stayed on our picnic blankets for almost the entire time, but we talked and talked and enjoyed ourselves. There are 29 of us, and over the past several days, we’ve bonded for sure and I will remember the times we shared and will share during this Recruitment with a special fondness. Especially with what ensued on this night.
All of the Rho Gam groups were relaxing on the grass in front of the Sorority houses, when out of nowhere; a woman comes jogging around the corner, followed quickly by three Police Cars in full lights and sound. They all made a deft turn into a box, across the street from the houses, surrounding this woman. The woman looked around her, and then sat down on the curb. Three officers exited their vehicles, and several dozen PNM’s and Rho Gamma’s broke into simultaneous nervous laughter. The officers, looked at us and offered a chuckle of their own, then returned to their business with the jogging woman.
This unusual occurrence was followed by:
Several instances of a fire engine, ambulance, and another police car racing down the street. All with sirens blaring and lights circling.
Maybe the full moon had something to do with it.
Later during the night, a mixed group travelled from the grassy area in front of three of our five houses to Cherry. On our campus, several of the houses are right next door to each other in a line, one house is up on a hill up the road, the other is far away from the others, but directly behind campus in an adorable home. Most of the ladies in the group mentioned desiring other houses, while they did appreciate how special Cherry was, but stated that it wasn’t for them. I did meet someone in the line who also wanted to be a Cherry, just like me. She was a sweetheart, and we chatted during most of the walk up to Cherry.
I was paired up with a wonderful sister and as we decorated bags for their philanthropy, chatted as members of Cherry’s executive board circulated around the room and formally introduced themselves to each of us. Then we trooped in to watch a video about their philanthropy, which made me want to cry. I didn’t cry though. Then we went back outside to do a different craft, which involved tasty food and talked some more. I enjoyed being at Cherry tonight, and I really didn’t want to say goodbye.
When they say that you’ll end up where you are meant to, it’s really true. Now, I hope and pray that Cherry invites me back tomorrow for skit night. I can’t wait to see the wonderful ladies there again.
-Another side note of a break- (Morning of Third round)
I called my Mother and made a special request that was way, way out there: She has a gorgeous necklace that is very simple:
It’s a single natural pearl pendant, very small and dainty, surrounded by two thin interlocking loops of gold on a thin gold chain. I wanted to borrow it for pref, so I could wear it, and feel like I have a piece of my Mom with me on that special night.
To my shock and surprise, Mom offered to overnight it so that I could have it to wear for Pref tomorrow night. She also said that she was going to send her pearl studs. You have to understand, my Mother does NOT lend out her jewelry, and this necklace especially is one of her very favorites, so for her to do this is a statement that she understands what Recruitment has meant to me, and that she is offering her best wishes and complete support.
I have missed my Mother terribly even though we have had our differences, and she has definitely turned her attitude around from what she said and did before recruitment began and we rehash recruitment every night on the phone and I tell her all about the stories and what I thought and did.
So, I’m mostly studying at the kitchen table and waiting for the mailman’s (or mailwoman’s) cheery knock on the door.
About an hour later, the lovely necklace and earrings had arrived!
Round 3: Skit Night.
The NPC part of my story ends here. I was contacted by one of my Rho Gammas, just as I was about to step on to the bus to head over to Skit Night, and told that Cherry did not invite me back. I was extremely poised on the telephone. I did not cry, I didn’t ask why. I pretended that absolutely nothing was wrong and thanked my Rho Gamma for her call. I turned off the bus I was getting on to, ran across the bus station and stepped on to a different bus.
I did not go home. My best friend (who is a guy, and incidentally, the only person I knew of my friends who could understand my emotions and feelings at this time. He was also the only person that I could talk to in person for a radius of about 500 miles. ) moved into the city at the same time as I, and had wanted me to come and visit him before I went to Skit Night. With waiting for the mailman, my schedule was thrown off, so I thought that I wouldn’t be able to see him until tomorrow.
I don’t know HOW he knew that something was terribly wrong, but when I arrived, he was standing outside the front door of his house, and I hadn’t even called him to let him know that I was coming.
Once we were alone in a room, then I started to cry. I told him what had happened, and I told him how badly it hurt. I allowed myself to cry for five minutes, then picked myself up and forced myself to stop crying. Otherwise, I probably would have found it hard to stop.
Indulged in some retail therapy, and some chocolate therapy, and some more crying sporadically for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening.
I didn’t start sobbing until I was finally on the bus to home about seven hours later. My bestie had gone home, and I just couldn’t control it anymore. I had to cry it out. I still was wearing the gorgeous outfit that I’d picked out for skit night, with my hair done up, and I was crying and crying and crying. I’m sure that others on the bus wondered what the matter was. To their credit, no one asked. And I’m glad of it.
I’m still in shock, and I’ll probably be crying for a few days to come. I did call Mom, and she expressed her sympathy, saying that she knew how much this meant to me. She encouraged me to pursue recruitment with the MGC orgs that I was interested in, and let the chips fall as they may. I need to think about that for a few days.
So, I’ll have to say that my recruitment story is a very positive one on the whole. I have no complaints. My feelings about not being invited back are my own, and that’s on no one except myself.